"Eltham-Opunake Mail Service - Speed, Comfort & Safety"

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An open-topped motor vehicle is parked on a street outside a building. The vehicle is part of G. W. Benton's Eltham- Opunake Mail Service. There are eight men and one woman seated in the car in three rows. Text written on the wind-screen reads "ELTHAM - OPUNAKE / ROYAL MAIL". Text inscribed on the negative reads "Eltham Opunake Mail Service Speed, Comfort & Safety G. W. Benton, Prop."
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This is probably the vehicle (Bus) that replaced the Wells Fargo horse drawn stage coach mail run between Opunake and Eltham. I think the vehicle is called a long wheel base Packard. Designed to seat eight passengers. six in the rear, two in front, excluding driver. Was about an hours drive from Opunake to Eltham in it. Now you can do it in twenty five to thirty minutes. Much less if you're a rally driver. They're parked outside what was the old Opunake Post Office, which would have been the pick up & set down point, the vehicle is facing north toward New Plymouth. Looking carefully in front of the vehicle you can see the railing where locals horses were still tied up and used even then. The railing was still there in late 1950's as was the Post office, I sat on it's steps numerous times. The Post Office was situated directly opposite what was the old Egmont Power Board depot on Tasman street, near Alison Street.

- Murray Maindonald on 29-03-2017 03:25:30

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